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Certification


On April 30, 2014, The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NALA Certified Paralegal program for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA Standards were created to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.  The NALA Certified Paralegal program joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations representing over 270 certification programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. More information on the NCCA is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA


Click to learn more about the Advanced Paralegal Certification Program
Click learn more about advanced
certification for paralegals!
 

To download the 2012 Job Analysis Report. This major study of the paralegal career field was released by the NALA Certifying Board June 15, 2012.


 Current Directory of Certified Paralegals
This link opens a form that may be used to verify one's certification status. Please check the update date if a name is not listed.


Professional certification is a time honored career development tool. It is helpful to employers and those seeking to enhance their career options. Because of the reliance on certification programs for career decisions, it is important a program is professionally managed and administered. NALA's over 35 years of experience in this area, and nearly 17,000 paralegals attest to the professionalism of the program.


   CLE Look Up for Certified Paralegals
Click this link to review the CLE credits recorded on your account. This information includes the expiration date of your certificate, the total credits awarded, as well as the credits that are classified as non-substantive credits, and ethics. This information is updated every 24-48 hours during the business week. 

Members need to log in with their NALA Net User name, and member number as the password. Non-members will be provided login information in an electronic newsletter.  Click here to request this information from NALA Headquarters.

Need to pay an exam fee?
  here for a payment window.


Want to file a request for CLE credits on-line?
 to save time and energy!



 

News & Upcoming Events
CLE Gift for NALA Active Members!

Active members of NALA - new and renewals - are receiving an $80 gift certificate from NALA to apply toward any NALA educational program or Facts & Findings subscription ...

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Need a product or service for your office?

The NALA Vendor Directory is a terrific place to start. This is a list of legal vendors offering a great range of help including deposition services, document services, and investigations. Click the link below...
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Click here for more news articles
 
Applying for the Exam and Form Requirements

Qualifications for the Exam


To be eligible for the Certified Paralegal examination, a paralegal must meet one of the following requirements listed below. The NALA Certifying Board and NALA do not provide nor approve any education that is required for initial certification.

1. Graduation from a paralegal program that is:

  • (a) Approved by the American Bar Association; or
  • (b) An associate degree program; or
  • (c) A post-baccalaureate certificate program in paralegal studies; or
  • (d) A bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies; or
  • (e) A paralegal program which consists of a minimum of 60 semester hours (900 clock hours or 90 quarter hours) of which at least 15 semester hours (225 clock hours or 22.5 quarter hours) are substantive legal courses.

NOTE: Under Category 1(e), an applicant may combine college hours from more than one institution. The applicant must have graduated from a legal assistant/paralegal program consisting of a minimum of 15 semester hours (or 225 clock hours or 22½ quarter hours.) Evidence of the minimum hours required under Category 1(e) must be provided with the application form.

2. A bachelor's degree in any field plus one year's experience as a paralegal. Successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (or 22.5 quarter hours or 225 clock hours or equivalent CEU hours) of substantive paralegal courses will be considered equivalent to one year's experience as a paralegal.

3. A high school diploma or equivalent plus seven (7) years' experience as a paralegal under the supervision of a member of the Bar, plus evidence of a minimum of twenty (20) hours of continuing legal education credit to have been completed within a two (2) year period prior to the examination date.

Eligibility of Students Awaiting Graduation


Student Waiver:
Paralegal students who are nearing graduation may take the Certified Paralegal examination under certain conditions.


Testing Window: Graduation Date No Later Than:
January March 15
May July 15
September November 15
 
This option requires:
  • A statement signed by the paralegal program director confirming the student’s pending graduation date.
  • A statement signed by the examinee acknowledging that if, for any reason, graduation requirements are not met and the examinee does not complete the program, the examination results will not be released and all fees forfeited.
Additional forms will be required of all candidates if filing applications prior to meeting the eligibility requirements. Contact NALA Headquarters for the required forms and further information about this requirement.

Application Form Requirements


Deadline Dates


The deadline date for applications is as follows. Filing deadline dates are strictly enforced.

 

Examination
Window

Application Filing Deadline**

Late Application Filing Deadline
(With $25 late filing fee)

January 1-31

December 1

December 10

May 1-31

April 1

April 10

September 1-30

August 1

August 10

Applications may be submitted:
  • By mail, with documentation
  • By FAX (918-582-6772)
  • On-line using the form on NALA's web site

**Additional forms will be required of all candidates if filing applications prior to meeting the eligibility requirements.
 

Applications must be received on or before the deadline date. Applications received after the published date for late filing will not be accepted for the upcoming test window, but may be accepted for the next available test window.

Click here for examination application form in pdf format

Click here to complete and file an on-line application form for the examination.

Click here for application to retake exam sections in pdf format
 
Click here to complete and file an on-line application to retake exam sections
 
Documentation Required

  • All pages of the application form must be complete. All documentation required to complete the Certified Legal Assistant application form must be submitted at the time of filing the application. Documentation includes official school transcripts, attorney attestations and payment. Incomplete applications are subject to rejection.
     
  • Categories 1 and 2 require an official transcript submitted with the application. A transcript is considered “official” if it bears the official seal and authorizing signature of the issuing institution and is sent directly by the school to NALA or sealed by the school and mailed or delivered to NALA by the applicant. The official transcript must indicate all courses taken and date of graduation. 
     
  • Category 3 requires a minimum of seven (7) years paralegal experience under the supervision of a member of the bar, along with a minimum of twenty (20) clock hours of continuing education, as verified by one or more attorney attestations. Applicant must also include the requested information verifying high school graduation or equivalent work.
Attorney Employer Attestations

  • For those qualifying under Category 1, an attorney/employer attestation is not required.
  • For those qualifying under Category 2 the attestation section is required only if applying with one year or more of paralegal experience in lieu of the 15 semester hours of paralegal courses.
  • The attestation section must be completed by all applicants for Category 3.
Examinee Attestation


All examinees are required to sign the following attestation on the application for the Certified Paralegal examination. This serves as a pledge of confidentiality, and states reasons for suspension of authorization to use the Certified Paralegal credential:

I hereby declare that the above information [on the Certified Paralegal Examination Application Form] is complete and truthful. I further pledge not to divulge the contents of any examinations questions for certification as a legal assistant/paralegal by NALA (the “Examination Questions”) and agree to be bound by the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of NALA.  Inasmuch as it is and ever will be impracticable and extremely difficult to determine the actual damages resulting to NALA should I divulge the contents of any Examination Questions, I agree to pay NALA as liquidated damages and not as a penalty, the sum of $500 for each breach of my agreement not to divulge the contents of any Examination Questions.

I further understand that the CP designation may be suspended or revoked and that I may be prohibited from taking any further NALA exams, including but not limited to any specialty practice area exams or retaking the general certification exam for the following reasons:
 
1. Falsification of information on application form.
2. Subsequent conviction of the unauthorized practice of law.
3. Failure to meet continuing legal education requirements as required by the Certifying Board.
4. Divulging the contents of any Examination Questions.
5. Subsequent conviction of a felony.
6. Violation of the NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
7.  Violation of the “Terms and Conditions of Testing.”
Fees


The fee for the Certified Paralegal examination application is $250 for NALA members and $275 for non-members of NALA. Retake fees are $60 per section. The Certified Paralegal examination program has been approved by the Veterans Administration under the licensing and certification benefit. The VA will pay the examination fee for qualified veterans. For further information, see www.gibill.va.gov/.

Personal checks ARE NOT accepted for payment of examination fees
. Payment may be made either by cashier’s check, money order, firm check, VISA, Master Card, Discover, or American Express.

Withdrawal Fee: If an applicant must withdraw the application, or the application is incomplete or rejected, payment will be refunded less a $25 processing fee for each year the application is active and on file (a maximum of $50).

Testing Center Fees: Testing center fees are NOT included in the examination application fee. PSI testing center fees are discussed on the PSI Testing Center Information Details page. Non-PSI centers may also charge a fee. This is included with the information describing the off-network centers.

Additional Policies


The NALA Certifying Board has adopted policies regarding such issues as confidentiality, non-discrimination of examinees. These policies as well as information about appealing an adverse decision on the application form, and cheating and misconduct are stated on the page entitled "Applying for the Exam - General Policies."